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First Edition Cycling News, December 14, 2008

Date published:
December 14, 2008, 0:00 GMT
  • Tigros will satiate Liquigas

    Article published:
    December 14, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Grocery store chain Tigros will be a co-sponsor for Liquigas in the next two seasons. Tigros entered...

    Grocery store chain Tigros will be a co-sponsor for Liquigas in the next two seasons. Tigros entered the world of cycling in 2007, with Ivan Basso.

    "Ivan ... represents the strength that characterises our territory and our daily operations," said General Director Paolo Orrigoni.

    The chain was founded in 1979 and is located in three provinces, with a total of 60 stores. Now we can extend the cooperation to his new team, Liquigas, the symbol of serenity, competitiveness and it is also very Italian; we will work together to always confirm these values."

    Team Manager Roberto Amadio confirmed the collaboration for the next cop,e of years. "We expect an ambitious season and rich on satisfaction. Tigros will be in the first line with us."

  • Rujano in search for third Vuelta al Táchira

    Article published:
    December 14, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    José Humberto Rujano hopes to win the Táchira for a third time, after 2004 and 2005. He will arrive...

    José Humberto Rujano hopes to win the Táchira for a third time, after 2004 and 2005. He will arrive in San Cristóbal, Venezuela, next week and meet with his new team, the club de ciclismo Gobernación del Zulia – Alcaldía de Maracaibo. He will reunite with his new teammates, who are already training in the state of Táchira.

    Rujano assured he wants to close the deal with the team for the tour in his native Venezuela and collaborate with director Alexis Méndez. "I come here in the hopes to once again participate in the Vuelta al Táchira en Bicicleta. I only hope to find a solution with the few legal details of the contract, then I want to meet up[ with the rest of the guys, who have already done phenomenal work."

    The team will have to other double champions, Manuel "El gato" Medina (who won in 2006 and 2008) and Noel Vásquez (2000 and 2001). Rujano confirmed that all three are physically prepared to become tricampeonato or triple champion.

    "Returning to Táchira to race is always an honour for me. Without a doubt the biggest rivals will be the teams of Lotería del Táchira and Rock Racing. Fortunately the directors of Gobernación del Zulia have confirmed a squad at the highest level to tackle this race," Rujano said.

    Rujano will not be part of the team that will race in the Vuelta a Bramón, which starts on December 19. Instead, he will continue his preparation in the mountains.

    Rujano was racing for Caisse d'Epargne in 2008. The Vuelta al Táchira takes place from January 6 through 17, 2009.

  • Slovenian champion goes Japanese, expects debut in Malaysia

    Article published:
    December 14, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    By Jean-François Quénet After the late announcement of dissolving the Continental team...

    By Jean-François Quénet

    After the late announcement of dissolving the Continental team Perutnina-Ptuj during the last week of November, Slovenian time trial champion Gregor Gazvoda thought his career was in limbo. But now it looks like an opportunity for him to show his talent to more cycling fans around the world as he secured a start with high regarded Japanese squad Meitan-GDR.

    The 27-year-old Gazvoda was a pure product of the Cycling Team Perutnina Ptuj, which he joined when he started cycling at the age of 14. After finishing ninth at the U23 world time trial championship in Zolder, Belgium, in 2002, he developed his skills against the clock and became the national champion in 2007 and 2008 in a country where cycling talents aren't rare birds nowadays.

    "I was devastated when I heard that my team was no longer existing at the international level", Gazvoda explained. Akira Asada, the manager of Meitan-GDR, had other plans. "As soon as I heard he was free, I was very interested to hire him." Asada found out about the availability of Gazvoda at the same time as he lost his best rider, Yukiya Arashiro. Arashiro's transfer to French ProTour team Bouygues Telecom was seen as a huge achievement for the Japanese squad that has put a lot of efforts into developing their riders on the European scene in the past few years.

    "I wanted to find a team with a solid international program and Meitan-GDR exactly offers me that opportunity," Gazvoda said. He expects to debut his new career in Malaysia at Le Tour de Langkawi from February 9 to 15. "This is the kind of race I've always dreamt to take part in," said the amicable Slovenian. He came third in the 2.1 Tour of Slovenia and sixth in the Chrono des Nations in France in October, beating riders like Vladimir Gusev, Andriy Grivko, Philippe Gilbert and Thomas Voeckler.

  • Shimano joins the 24 hours of Le Mans

    Article published:
    December 14, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    By Jean-François Quénet The organisation of the 24 hours of Le Mans cycling event in France has...

    By Jean-François Quénet

    The organisation of the 24 hours of Le Mans cycling event in France has welcomed Shimano as its technical partner for the first edition of the event due to take place on August 22nd and 23rd, 2009. Former Crédit Agricole team manager Roger Legeay is involved with the new race in the same town where the famous car race takes place.

    Managing director Romain Gasnal was delightede by the news. "They have a rich experience with the Shimano Suzuka Road challenge in Japan. They will provide technical assistance to the participants as well as energy bars and recovery products."

    Legeay has presented the project to a few professional and ex-professional riders, who likely will take part in the mass participation event open to the public. Teams of eight, six, four or two cyclists as well as individual cyclists are welcome. The goal is to cover a maximum number of laps on the 4,185 metres of the famous race track of the Bugatti circuit. The smooth surface is great for riding a bike fast. Inscriptions have begun on the race website www.24heuresvelo.fr on November 1st.

    "We already received many requests and not only from France but also from Belgium, Holland and Switzerland," Gasnal added.

  • Garmin's Vaughters looks for second pink jersey

    Article published:
    December 14, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Gregor Brown in Venice

    By Gregor Brown in Venice Jonathan Vaughters, team manger of Garmin Chipotle, hopes his team can...

    By Gregor Brown in Venice

    Jonathan Vaughters, team manger of Garmin Chipotle, hopes his team can take the Giro d'Italia leader's jersey for a second year. At the 2009 route presentation Saturday in Venice, he gave the team's goals for the Italian three-week race, May 9 to 31.

    "Our objective in the race is to win the team time trial and try to win another stage along the way. Maybe we have guy, Tom Danielson or Trent Lowe, to try and do well in the overall classification," Vaughters said to Cyclingnews.

    Vaughters prepared his team specifically for the team trial that opened the 2008 Giro. He succeeded and saw American Christian Vande Velde take the maglia rosa. LINK please.

    He will have another opportunity in 2009 with the 20.5-kilometre team time trial in Venice on the opening day. Vaughters also noted that the 61.7-kilometre individual time trial in stage 12 suites his rider perfectly.

    "It is like a miniature road stage. It is a time trial for Christian Vande Velde. It is ideal for his motor -- it is technical and hilly. I don't know that he will be ready to fight for the GC in the Giro, but he can win that time trial."

    The stage from Sestri Levante to Riomaggiore is the longest time trial in 13 years and nearly double the longest time trial of 2008. Vaughters will not limit his team to the time trials, though.

    "We will send a team to try to win the team time trail, but this year we will stick a climber on the back of the train to try to win the Giro. We don't have a lot of climbers on our team, but it could be Lowe, Dan Martin or Danielson."

    He will observe his riders as the 2009 season unfolds before deciding on who to send to the Giro d'Italia and who to send to the Tour de France. He will likely travel to Madrid on Wednesday to see the Vuelta a España route unveiled.

  • Home-grown reactions to Giro route

    Article published:
    December 14, 2008, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Gregor Brown in Venice

    By Gregor Brown in Venice Giro d'Italia organisers RCS Sport presented an innovative route for 2009...

    By Gregor Brown in Venice

    Giro d'Italia organisers RCS Sport presented an innovative route for 2009 Saturday at the Teatro Fenice in Venice, Italy. The Italian stage race, May 9 to 31, will confront high mountains in the first week and a 61.7-kilometre time trial, before finishing in Rome three weeks later. It was a route that raised many eyebrows from the attendants. The home favourites noted a diverse route that will present pressure from the first stage team time trial in Venice to the final timed-test in Rome.

    "I would have liked to have a Giro like this when I was young -- heading straight into the Dolomites. It is a little bit different to what I am used to, but I will look to be on form earlier, starting in Venice. Any Giro is good for me now," said Team Diquigiovanni's Gilberto Simoni, two-time winner of the Giro.

    The 2006 winner Ivan Basso is back from suspension and will compete in his first Grand Tour in three years. "It is a very important Giro for me and I’m coming back after some difficult years," said Basso. "It is a special Giro in all senses, I have to look closer, but every day there seems to be critical points."

    Lance Armstrong will be the race's star participant but he made Basso the number one favourite two weeks ago at his team's training camp.

    "It is an honour that Armstrong considers I am the favourite, but I think at the beginning there are six or seven favourites that can all win."

    Danilo Di Luca won the Giro in 2007 with the support of Team Liquigas. For 2009, Team LPR will support the rider from Abruzzo for the overall and his teammate Alessandro Petacchi for the sprints. He pointed to the mountains in the first week and the long time trial mid-race as the key battlegrounds.

    "It will be difficult in the first three stages, but also in the long time trial... the gaps gained there may be unrecoverable," he said.

    "I think that it will be an important time...